WASHINGTON – Following revelations that the U.S. government’s PRISM program has been secretly collecting information on foreigners overseas from the nation’s largest Internet companies like Google, Facebook and, most recently, Apple, in search of national security threats, President Obama admitted that Google’s policy of hiding keywords in Google Analytics was the deciding factor in moving ahead with the controversial program.
“Not being able to see our keywords created a grave threat to our national security,” President Obama said today in a hastily-called press conference to address the growing scandal.
About two years ago, Google started to protect the privacy of users logged into its system by not passing their keyword data along to publishers’ websites – unless the publishers also advertised with Google. The search giant claimed the move would affect less than ten percent of searches.
“When Google started hiding keywords in 2011, Matt Cutts said it would affect only about 10% of searches,” said Obama. “But over the past two years, we are now unable to see over 60% of our referring keywords. And thanks to the Sequester, our AdWords budget has been cut, so we had to do something.”
Frequent critic of the White House Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is defending Google’s actions, saying he’s more concerned about the President’s strategy, or lack thereof.
“Everybody knows the Panda update was about quality,” said Graham, “If the President would stop focusing on “keywords” and “rankings” and start creating compelling content that users care about, this wouldn’t be an issue.”
When asked for comment, the President responded “I know that Americans are concerned about the balance between safety and liberty. With that in mind, I have appointed a blue ribbon commission to work on a content marketing strategy that combines guest posting on relevant sites, natural-looking anchor text and a weekly infographic.”
UPDATED 6.10.13 9:35am PDT – Edward Snowden, a former SEO consultant for the Obama Administration, has identified himself as the source of leaked information about the National Security Agency’s PRISM surveillance program. Snowden claims his actions were forced by a chief executive “obsessed with ranking reports.”
“I kept telling him that trying to outrank Wikipedia for “best president ever” searches was a waste of tax-payer money,” said Snowden, “Obama may play the long game, but what about the long tail? I don’t want to live in a society that doesn’t understand the basics of search engine optimization.”